03 Sep Aristotle
“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a certain way.”
This is an early construct of the aphorism: fake it until you make it.
In other words, when we pretend to be who we are not, eventually we become the person or have the role in life of the person we pretended to be. If not, well, at least we enjoyed pretending as the person we are is problematic for us to be.
That said, this saying can be read otherwise. I spoke with a friend today who said that after 6 years of marriage and a 5 year old girl, he and his Ukrainian wife are divorcing. He’s been in a sexless marriage for some time as his wife tells him she is not in the “mood” whenever he approaches her sexually. That seemed odd to him as previously they had a very active love life. However, recently he asked her if she no longer loved him. She replied, “I never loved you.” Apparently marriage for her was a path to having a baby or citizenship. She was true to the adage of fake it until you make it.
Sometimes people pretend they are what they are not in an effort to transform themselves. But more often to transform how others perceive them. When their masks come off, often what’s revealed is ugly by some measure.